The good news is, if you’re excellent at something – it’s likely you can create a business around it. In fact, that’s how most service businesses are born. The entrepreneur has an expertise in a particular area, and turns that into providing that service for others.
So, the next question is – how?
In this episode, I’ll give you 4 ways you can turn your expertise into a great business.
By the way, I’m not saying it’ll be a piece of cake, or that you’ll have overnight success – it’ll take commitment, patience and grit. And you have to be willing to grow – what’s the saying, if you want your business to grow by 20% you have to grow by 30%. But I can tell you – the journey will be worth every minute.
So, let’s dive in.
To make things easier to explain, let’s use the mythical example of Samantha. Sam is an Executive Assistant, and wants to start her own company.
The first way is the easiest – Samantha can offer her services as an outsourced or virtual assistant to people who need the help. She could manage their calls, appointments and correspondence. Now, because she would be (hopefully) working for more than one client, depending on where she sets her fee, she might make more than working for one person full time – and she would have more flexibility. On the down side, Sam’s earning potential will be limited by the amount of time she can give to servicing clients – and because this is a one to one service model, it’s the most labor intensive option for Sam. When she takes time off, she doesn’t get paid.
Sam can offset this a bit by hiring people on her team to also provide service to clients – but again, the model is still basically time for money. So it will always be limited by the amount of time someone has to spend on the account.
The second way is really a by-product of the 1st model. And that’s the white label model.
With this type of business, Sam would partner with a business that provides complementary services – for instance a social media manager, or outsourced accountant: and provide her services under their umbrella. The upside to this option is that she now has access to their clients, making selling a bit easier. The downside – well, there are at least two: 1) it’s still a one to one service model and quite labor intensive and 2) while it’s easier to get clients, the clients actually belong to your service partner – so you aren’t really significantly growing the foundation of your business.
While most service businesses start out with one of these two options, it’s a good idea to morph into a different model as soon as possible, so you can scale.
“… if you want your business to grow by 20% you have to grow by 30%.”
By the way, this is a great time to talk about the difference between growing and scaling. When a business grows, it gets larger, has more clients and hires more people to service the clients etc. So, as revenue grows, so does expenses. Scaling on the other hand is increasing revenues, without adding expenses, or adding them at a much slower rate than the increase in revenue. It’s when you can leverage your existing resources (people, technology etc.) to service more clients and bring in more revenue. Switching from a one to one, to a one to many service model is an example of scaling.
With that in mind, the third way for Samantha to set up her business is to start teaching others what she knows. She might create a class or webinar on how to most effectively handle administrative tasks, and provide recommendations for software or templates and checklists. If she sells this information to solopreneurs and other business owners, it would be a service that trains the end user. And most importantly, it’s a one to many service model – meaning it can be scaled. Sam isn’t getting paid for her time, now she’s getting paid for the service product she provides. So that means, now she only needs the time to create and sell the product vs. being in the trenches doing ‘the thing’ every day.
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The fourth way is another one to many, scalable model. Instead of training end users, Sam could train other assistants on how to provide service to clients – again with classes, webinars, checklists etc. Now in order to create this type of model, Sam needs to have excellence in what she does – because now she’s telling others ‘I can help you set up a business so you can provide service to clients’. For this reason, it really helps if Samantha has a track record she can point to when she’s selling to would-be VAs.
Of course, there’s a lot more to creating a business than we’ve covered here – but this is an excellent first step. After all, you have to know what and how you’re going to sell something before you sell it – right?
The preceding is provided for general informational purposes only, and not intended to constitute legal advice.